Yesterday two of my children received a H1N1 flu shot. In many ways it was a relief to know that there is an ounce of protection of an illness that has many questions. A feeling of tension is now lowered due to something that our pediatrician suggested for all of his clients. Can my children still get the flu? Maybe. Do I feel better? Yes. I probably won't be as adament of washing hands (although I should) and will not freak out over TV ads as often.
In many ways, I think young families think the same way of Baptism. Parents become worried that the child will not have God in their lives, they run to a local church which they are not connected with and beg for Baptism. The Baptism occurs. The parents feel better, the child has a better chance of going to heaven, and they become compacent in faith. "After all, she is baptized."
The implications can be dire and baptism does so much more than a flu shot. A flu shot works for one simple illness and may or may not work. However, in Baptism, God changes the whole body and soul. He basically digs out, kills the muck inside and creates a new person. not only that, it works every day in the sinner (Romans 6). Killing, rising, and resurrecting a dead soul, EVERY DAY!
Our nervousness will continue concerning the swine flu, even after a shot. Yet, we have the assurance of salvation, life, and forgivness through our children's Baptisms. But that is not a get out of jail free card, we continue to instruct, call for repentance, and forgive as we live in the grace of our Lord.